Archive for July, 2006

BBC Ceefax Shuttle page being made.

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A while ago I blogged about the Ceefax shuttle Graphics that had been uploaded to Flickr by Pauliepaul.

In one of those rare moments of star alignment, I found a picture taken of someone making a page about the launch, he maybe the guy who made the other page, anyone know who he is? This was the first shuttle mission – STS-1. Sad that at the same time Brixton was having it’s first riot.

Anchor & Hope – London Restaurant – London Restaurants Guide – Square Meal

Anchor & Hope – London Restaurant – London Restaurants Guide – Square Meal.One of the few perks of being a ‘free’ wedding photographer is that you hope to get a gift as a thank you. Of course another plus is that by being a ‘mate with a camera’, if it all goes wrong it’s not your fault. On this occasion however it all went to plan and i clocked up something like 600 photos and put them all on CD for the happy couple to choose at their leisure.In return they very kindly offered to take me and mrs e out for dinner to the Anchor & Hope in Waterloo. The place opened to rave critic reviews a couple of years ago and won gastropub of the year last year I seem to remember. However there’s some mixed punter reviews that have come about mainly through miss-understanding having been there myself and seen how the place is run.What people seem to forget is that this is a pub, that does really goof food. Therefor you can’t book (try booking a table in a Young’s pub) there’s no table clothes or wine glasses, and it’s all fairly simple and basic referb furniture and bare brick walls. The no booking policy is because the actual eating area is tiny, and they just can’t afford to have cancellations and no shows. I had a chat with Robert who was running the place that night, and he says if you’re in the bar, you can put your name down. The wine glasses they use, which are sort of shot glass tumblers, are probably to cut back on breakage, and that perhaps most people these days buy a bottle rather than 175-ml. It also adds to the rough round the edges feeling, doing little shots of rose as we were (it was a hot evening). When I was last in Barcelona a bar we frequented a little bar and were served all wine in broad flat tumblers and we all thought it was great. And unless your a wine expert, does it really matter what glass it comes in?Leg of Lamb with chick peas and preserved lemonsThe two waiters that served us where great, talking through certain bits of the menu and sharing a joke. The chef said hello when we came in, Robert was great and brought our Lamb to Share out personally which was magnificent. It’s a great, social, sometimes messy way of eating, and more places should do it, After all that’s what we all grew up with right? Mum bringing a chicken to the table and everyone diving in. Yet so few places do a big dish to share, which considering how easy it is and how you can knock of four covers with one thing makes me wonder if UK restaurants aren’t missing a trick. Walk into any supermarket and it’s family sized this and family sized that. Thing is a leg of braised lamb takes time to cook, you have to get there early not only to get a table but to get one of these too, as this lamb just fell of the bone. The starters were great too. The pigs face (that’s how it was described on the menu) was a porky chubby number, complimented well by the crunchy cornichons.A Pigs face and crumbly goats cheese and watermelon saladBy then end the four of us had licked the bones clean, though I felt a slight pang of guilt (or indigestion!) at leaving the tray half brimming with cooking liqueur, is it bad form to ask for a Tupperware and take it home for soup? Given that the bride was mrs e’s boss I controlled myself. I only just had room for a fantastic coffee ice cream and espresso for pud.So my advice:Go with friends, go on a whim, and have a back up plan. But enjoy it coz it’s ace.

Why have children if you don’t like bringing them up? | the Daily Mail

Link: Why have children if you don’t like bringing them up? | the Daily Mail.

To the women who said her kids are boring… just wait till your old.. It’ll be the crappy care home for you!

Time Trumpet – Fry and Laurie

Great to see Armando Iannucci thoughts on the box again. Time Trumpet. (Or there’s a 10 min preview here)

But if you want something vintage try this

Still fantastic after all these years… “Margery! Damn damn double damn and an extra side order of damn!”

Litter – bugs – me

Today I got on the 09:27 Watford Junction train from Clapham Junction, and sit down to read the Metro and listen to my iPod. The guy sat on the table opposite is eating a pastry and drinking a coffee. When we get to Olympia, I get up slowly, as does he. I let him go first into the isle to which he says ‘thanks’.

I tap him on the shoulder and say, ‘are you going to take your rubbish?’ as he’s just left the cup and scrunched up bag on the table, ‘no’ he says, ‘so you’re just going to leave it there?’ ‘yeah’ he says and moves to get off the train ‘what a dick’ I say loudly. The rest of the sheep like passengers shuffle off the train and don’t say anything. He was a smart looking 40-something in shirt and trousers and with a briefcase, you expect it off kids but not older professional people. What sort of a fucked up world are we living in when people eat organic muffin’s and skinny lattes and then litter the place? Litter really pisses me off, especially when there’s a bin on the train.

It looks even worse on some bits of the tube.

In other news… Anyone want to run the BBC homepage?! Perks include sitting next to me and standard un-competitive BBC salary (remember, you’ll do it for the luuurve). Closing date 6th August.

The (dis)functional BBC Media Family

So last night I started thinking about the ongoing relationship between digital media, TV and Radio, and the image that came to mind was something like this.


Actually if I were to shoot it, gobby emo teenager Future Media would furiously be trying to swipe/hug/climb on overweight balding TV but being held at arms length by TVs bigger arm. TV would be looking at itself in a hand mirror held in its other hand. Radio would be sat down on a comfy chair looking perhaps austere but actually would be a bit of a maverick, in a Paul Newman/David Bowie kind of a way. He would also be slyly helping Future Media out or nicking something from TV. Sure they’d be bickering a bit, but in the end they all love each other – like any family. Any of my Beeb colleagues dis/agree with this?

Where’s all this leading then? Well it part of a bigger question on how projects get made these days, not just in the BBC, but other media organizations. The BBC has a dream of 360º commissioning, finally realizing you can’t simple bolt on the ‘new media’ bits to an idea, and any connectivity and interactivity has to be in from the start. And it’s exactly that point that Mark addressed yesterday.

“Everybody shut the fuck up!” – Ridley Scott on the set of Bladerunner

Trouble is people from a traditional visual media background tend work in a top down way. They offer ‘their vision’ to the commissioner, client or studio. This is how filmmakers and photographers have worked since the medium of ‘film’ began. One of the main reason they can do this is because most directors and producers are skilled in the language of the people under them. They have an understanding of editing, lighting, and composition. They may refer to a Director of Photography for advice, but on the whole they understand the processes and procedures involved and so came make valid authoritative judgments. Very few of them have any internet experience.

New media projects in my experience seem to be more collaborative. They have to be, because of the vast difference in technical, editorial or design skills. The project director/owner probably won’t have the same level of understanding about AJAX or mySQL or typography or colour theory and so they have to rely much more on the judgment of others.

Now there’s good and bad points about both ways of working, If things go well or bad, there’s one point of praise for the ‘vision’ method. Where as praise and blame can be shared out and pasted around in the group way of working. Also New Media’s much much smaller than say Hollywood or even the likes of mainstream TV, so there’s far less cash, coke and ego flying about for a start.

Another sin leveled at those who commission or those who green light a project is what I’m calling ‘iglooitis’. This is where the meme du jour – in this example, igloos – are must haves for anything approved by that person’s department. At that time they’re seen as key to the goals/milestones/roadmaps/ of ‘the business’. Any would be pitcher then goes away and shoe horns some badly thought out last minute ‘igloo’ concept into there pitch only to go back a month or so later to hear “You know all I see these days are ‘igloos’..I want something fresh!” This has happened to people I know, it happens a lot in areas like comedy.

True 360º will include every output device the BBC can bring to bare, going in size from 10 ft public screens, 42” HD TVs, 21” monitors, 5” PDAs, and 1” mobiles. The content will empower users and allowing anyone and everyone to join in and enjoy the experience. And the technology will just melt discreetly into the background like a Relate councilor watching the BBC and our audiences hug each other like we’ve never done before. If we don’t get this right, it’s a bitter custody battle, divorce and years in therapy.

CEEFAX Shuttle Infographic 1981

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CEEFAX Shuttle Infographic 1981
CEEFAX Shuttle Infographic 1981,
originally uploaded by pauliepaul.

A lot of people are getting misty eyed about Ceefax. Compare the above to This.

We never had a telly good enough in our ‘ouse to have Ceefax, we didn’t even have a remote until we got our first video recorder in 1990s and had to use that. Maybe that’s why I’ve never really been that impressed with Ceefax/Teletext. Though it did give the world Mr Biffo.

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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
July 2006